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Topics: Organizational Project Management, Risk Management
What are the three most common project management risks?

A project risk is defined by PMI as, "an uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on one or more project objectives". According to PMBOK 6th Edition, risk exists at two levels within every project; as individual project risk and overall project risk.

As per your project related experiences, what are the three most common project risks that you have come across?
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We are working in cross functional, multi diversified team, getting resource or assigning resource based on availability is certainly a RISK factor.
You add assumptions during project life cycle and there are chances that will end up turning to a Project RISK
1 reply by Bruce A. Hayes
Jul 27, 2018 4:12 PM
Bruce A. Hayes
Good point. I like the fact as a list of assumptions grow, so does the risk to the overall project's success.

Damian -

1. Schedule and cost impacts resulting from assorted technical risks (e.g. inability to get two systems to talk to one another in a timely, cost effective manner)

2. Unpredictable resource allocation

3. Impacts from stakeholders whose expectations are not being effectively managed


Thanks Viswanathan & Kiron. Well, to sum up, most common risks are related to cost, schedule, resources and stakeholders.

In my experience it's the cost, schedule and resources allocation.

Same Kiron!! The impacts of project constraints!!!


1. In case of a long-running, large program with many projects & teams working in it, some teams get demotivated & lose the momentum, resulting in resource releases/reallocation, delay in releases etc.,

2. The stakeholders keep changing their requirements & expectations due to the changing market and hence it had been very difficult to manage the scope and consequently cost & schedule.

From my experience, most project risks are inherent by nature which are a direct result of the project team not being fully adept at understanding the complexities of the project they are undertaking. As mentioned, typically the cost, schedule, and resource allocations are under estimated by as much as 50%. Also, as others have mentioned, I have witnessed first hand many projects that ultimately fail to meet stakeholders expectations, but were still considered a "success".

I generally find that the most common risks relate to deviating significantly from the schedule, expanding the scope of the project/not defining the scope well enough at the beginning, and managing the expectations of the stakeholders. Most projects seem to encounter issues with at least one of these areas and then it impacts the other two areas.

Scope not well defined.
Time / cost report not aligned with estimation.
Poor change management.

Resources. .....
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